Acrylic acid–1,7-octadiene resin was synthesized in beaded form by a two-step process: suspension polymerization of ethylacrylate and 1,7-octadiene monomers, followed by hydrolysis using either 98% H2SO4 or 10 M NaOH. Acrylic acid–divinylbenzene resins were also synthesized by the same process for the purpose of comparing a rigid divinylbenzene with a flexible 1,7-octadiene crosslinkage in the acrylic acid resins. Swelling of the resins in distilled water shows that replacing divinylbenzenes with 1,7-octadiene makes the resin achieve greater swelling in a significantly shorter time. 1,7-Octadiene also allowed for an increase in crosslinkage to 20% compared to 4% in the case of divinylbenzene, without compromising the loading rates of toxic heavy metal ions like Pb2+, Cu2+, and Cr3+ from water samples. The acrylic acid–1,7-octadine resin was found useful for removal of the toxic heavy metal ions from wastewater samples. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 41038.